Malaysia Airports has signed a memorandum of understanding with the eVTOL developer Volocopter and infrastructure specialist Skyports to explore the deployment of vertiports for urban air mobility.
According to a press release, the parties plan to conduct a feasibility study examining vertiport solutions for eVTOL air taxis, considering factors such as demand, customer flow, and how to integrate UAM operations. As part of the five-year Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang (LTSAAS) Regeneration plan, the collaboration will explore the deployment of electric air taxi services at LTSAAS and other locations throughout Malaysia, where Malaysia Airports operates a total of 39 airports.
“Air taxi technology and revolution is the next big thing that we want to see happen in Malaysian aviation,” stated Malaysia Airports’ group CEO, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh. “With LTSAAS offering a synergistic ecosystem within the aviation and aerospace sectors, it is timely for us to explore this new service as it complements other key developments of the regeneration initiative.”
He added that Malaysia Airports hopes to “future-proof” LTSAAS’s position in the Asia Pacific region by catering to research, assembly, manufacturing, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in addition to air taxi operations. “Our objective is to provide end-to-end, mid- to high-value capabilities and solutions that are anchored by top-tier operators,” he said.
According to Volocopter chief commercial officer Christian Bauer, “The Southeast Asian market is one of the largest and most interesting ones for UAM due to its geographical layout and dense population. Our feasibility study will help give us insights on demand, customer expectations, and airport integration, which we can apply to other markets in the region.”
Volocopter and Skyports previously collaborated on a full-scale air taxi vertiport for a demonstration in Singapore in 2019. Skyports currently has infrastructure projects in development elsewhere in Asia, as well as in Europe and North America.
“Malaysia Airports’ ambitions for future-proofing Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport and implementing electric air taxi services throughout Malaysia align with Skyports’ ambitions to deliver UAM in the Asia Pacific market,” said Skyports CEO Duncan Walker. “The feasibility study will allow us to explore all the elements needed to create a future air mobility model that could be deployed across the region.”